Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum
Water Quality - Pollutant Sources and Impacts

When excessive phosphorus is added to lakes it stimulates the growth of algae and higher aquatic plants. This ‘over-feeding’ is called eutrophication and leads to water that can be ‘pea soup green’ with algae and overcrowded with macrophytes. These turbid, often foul smelling waters are unpleasant and even dangerous for swimming and other forms of recreation. The plants eventually settle to the bottom of the lake and decompose, consuming oxygen. The loss of oxygen can lead to fish kills.


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